Phil Snow had 9 months to prepare for the triple option and this is what he came up with?
In one of those offseason brain-storming sessions between fans and coaches, new Temple offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas reportedly told the group that he felt the Owls’ offense was “too stubborn” last season.
If last year was too stubborn, then just what was that 34,004 Temple fans were forced to watch in a 28-13 loss to Army on Friday night?
Last night might as well been the return of the Single Wing, with the Owls trying to force feed two things they do not do particularly well—run the ball straight ahead and throw the ball in the pocket.
Fight, fight, fight for the Cherry and the, err, Vanilla.
When you have a quarterback like P.J. Walker, you move him around the pocket and create the threat of run/pass. When you drop him back, you invite him to get killed and that’s just what happened.
Thomas gets an F for his first night as the new coordinator, but the real responsibility rests with the CEO of the operation, Matt Rhule. What worked for the Owls was the little rollout passes Walker was able to complete and the Owls should have counterpunched by going over the top for the long ball. Army’s defensive backs could not hang with the Owls’ wide receivers but those mismatches were never capitalized upon. Rhule is not blind. He has to take charge when he sees mismatches.
Too stubborn was as good a reason as any, maybe too nice a guy the other.
Phil Snow also gets an F, but we outlined here that Snow has a checkered history against the triple option—giving up no less than 31 points in each of his last four of his last five tries against it. (The one exception was a 34-13 win in 2013.) Last night, he improved upon that by three but the Owls allowed 324 rushing yards. Again, the buck stops with Rhule because Wayne Hardin never lost to a triple option team in his 13 years at Temple a testimony to studying film and countering it well—with blitzes from the blind side blowing up pitchouts before they got downhill.
At times over the last three years, it looks as though Temple never even looks at film of opponents. Rhule likes to preach the process but it’s painfully apparent film study of opponents is not a valued part of it. Fordham scored 37 on Army last year and Duke scored 44 and allowed just three points. Might want to copy what Duke did on defense and Fordham did on offense.
A team that recruits NFL players, like Temple and Duke does, should never lose to a team that requires a five-year military commitment. Duke and David Cutcliffe got the job done. Temple and Matt Rhule and his crew did not.They had nine months to work on a game plan for this one-dimensional foe and impressed no one with it.
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